Why Did ADL Rip Huffington Post Article Saying a Jew Poisoned Muhammad?

In 1956, Secretary of State John Foster Dulles testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to explain why the United States was selling military aircraft to Saudi Arabia, but not Israel.

Dulles further argued in support of the U.S. policy of not stationing Jewish soldiers in the U.S. Armed Forces on bases in Saudi Arabia.

Senators had criticized the fact that via the agreement which allowed the operation of the U.S. airbase at Dhahran, the Saudis were permitted to exclude “objectionable” persons -- first and foremost, Jews of any ilk. Explaining the U.S. concession to this Saudi demand, the Congressional Record captures (p. 11840) the following verbatim discussion, including Secretary Dulles’ own remarks:

[T]he startling fact is that the religious ban is applied solely to Americans of Jewish faith. During further questioning, Secretary Dulles elaborated on the reasons for respecting Saudi Arabia’s discriminatory demands.

[Dulles] “You are dealing with a kingdom and with a dynasty which more than any other in the world practices very religiously certain religious doctrines and they have felt for a long time -- it goes back centuries -- a very particular animosity toward the Jews, because they credited the assassination of Mohammed to a Jew.”

Fast forward 60 years to hear the self-appointed intellectual defenders of American Jews, the Anti-Defamation League’s (ADL’s) hysterical -- if willfully ignorant -- reactions (here, here) to a Huffington Post Arabic blog entitled: “‘Arsenic’ The poison, which a Jewish woman put in the food of the Prophet, peace be upon him.”

The Arabic blog simply re-affirmed salient details from canonical, mainstream Islamic sources that a Jewess poisoned Muhammad, ultimately leading to his protracted and painful “martyrdom” death. Indeed, the only novel aspect of this recapitulation of the traditional Muslim narrative is the “hypothesis” that arsenic was the specific poison used by the culprit Jewess. But on December 7, 2016, the Helm-ite wise men “Islamic scholars” at ADL insisted Huff Post Arabi had instead “published an anti-Semitic blog that promotes a preposterous claim of a Jewish responsibility for the death of Islam’s prophet, Mohammed which parallels the Jewish deicide.”

Last week, ADL expressed its solemn “disappointment” that Huff Post Arabi had failed to remove the blog, claiming it “promotes a conspiracy theory blaming Jews for the death of the Prophet Mohammed.” (Note ADL’s voluntary use of reverent capitalization.) Astute, fearless shepherd of American Jewry and ADL CEO Jonathan A. Greenblatt added:

It is troubling that an anti-Semitic screed cleared  The Huffington Post’s editorial review process and that our concerns so far have been ignored.

The ADL’s uninformed, apoplectic posturing notwithstanding, Muhammad’s alleged poisoning by a Khaybar Jewess in the canonical traditions (“hadith”) and earliest pious Muslim biographies (“sira”) of Islam’s prophet updates with perfect archetypal logic the Koranic themes of Jews as malevolent “prophet killers” (Koran 2:61/3:112) and hateful (Koran 5:82) conspirators against Islam. Jews are described as fully deserving of the debasement Islam’s deity Allah pitched upon them (Koran 2:61) eternally.

The greatest classical and modern Koranic commentaries on 5:82 demonstrate a uniformity of opinion repeatedly coupling the confirmed animus of the Jews toward the Muslims to their permanent, accursed humiliation (in Koran 2:61/3:112). Muslim historian and Koranic commentator par excellence Ibn Kathir, for example, wrote in his gloss on Koran 5:82:

Allah said [in Koran 5:82], “Verily you will find the strongest among men in enmity to the believers the Jews and those who commit Shirk [i.e., the polytheists, or idolators].” This describes the Jews, since their disbelief is that of rebellion, defiance, opposing the truth, belittling other people, and degrading the scholars.

This is why the Jews -- may Allah’s continued curses descend on them until the Day of Resurrection -- killed many of their Prophets and tried to kill the Messenger of Allah several times, as well as performing magic spells against him and poisoning him. They also incited their likes among the polytheists against the Prophet.

There are a series of references in the canonical hadith (a detailed review is here; for examples see also Bukhari; Bukhari) as well as in the earliest sira account of Ibn Ishaq summarizing the accusation that a Khaybar Jewess serving Muhammad poisoned mutton (or goat) caused his agonizing “martyrdom” death.

Perhaps the most elaborate is Ibn Sa‘d’s sira (Kitab Al-Tabaqat Al- Kabir), which focuses on the Jewish conspiracy behind this poisoning while insisting adamantly that the Khaybar Jewess perpetrator was put to death:

The Jews discussed about poisons and became united in one poison. She [a Khaybar Jewess, Zaynab Bint al-Harith] poisoned the goat putting more poison in the forelegs. … The Apostle of Allah took the foreleg, a piece of which he put into his mouth. … The Apostle of Allah sent for Zaynab Bint al-Harith [and] … handed her over to the heirs of Bishr Ibn al-Barra [who the Jewess had also poisoned, leading to his rapid death] who put her to death. This is the approved version [emphasis added]. … The Apostle of Allah lived after this three years, till in consequence of his pain he passed away. During his illness he used to say: I did not cease to find the effect of the poisoned morsel I took at Khaybar.

A mid-nineteenth century eyewitness account from Jerusalem by the missionary Gregory Wortabet (published in 1856) captured the routine Jew-hating sentiments of the Muslim masses -- persisting to this day -- which Wortabet also attributed to the canonical hadith about Muhammad’s poisoning. Wortabet observed that “nowhere is the name of ‘Yahoodi (Jew)’ more looked down upon than here in the city of his fathers,” concluding:

The Jew, in their estimation, is the vilest of the human family, and is the object of their pious hatred, perhaps from the recollection that a Jewess of Khaibar first undermined the health of the prophet by infusing poison into his food. Hence a hog and a Jew [see Koran 5:60] are esteemed alike in the eye of a Moslem, both being the lowest of their kind.

USC political scientist Eliz Sanasarian provided a striking contemporary (1980s) example from Iran that confirmed the traditional (i.e., hadith and sira) accounts of Muhammad’s poisoning as objective, factual history during the examination of young adult candidates for national teacher training programs. Sanasarian notes:

[T]he subject became one of the questions in the ideological test for the Teachers’ Training College where students were given a multiple-choice question in order to identify the instigator of the martyrdom of the Prophet Muhammad, the “correct” answer being “a Jewess.”

Finally, as I reported in May of 2012, the reputed poisoning of Muhammad by a Khaybar Jewess was described (on p. 131) in a text used to educate Muslim youth at the East End Madrassah, an Islamic school which operated out of David and Mary Thomson Collegiate Institute, a public high school in Toronto, Canada:

 The Jews however, did not forget their humiliation at the hands of the Muslims. After their defeat, a Jewish woman by the name of Zainab brought some lamb meat as a gift for the Holy Prophet (S). The meat was poisoned and the Holy Prophet (S) ate only a little bit, but that poison had an effect on his health in the long term and when he was on his death bed a few years later, he said that his illness was partly due to the poison he had been given at Khaybar.

We live in an era where traditional, mainstream Islamic Jew-hatred, as taught and disseminated by Islam’s leading religious teaching institutions, such as Al Azhar University in Cairo, Egypt, is a worldwide pandemic that has clearly infected the global Muslim masses, including Muslims living in Europe and the Americas.

Well-heeled, but feckless Jewish “anti-discrimination” organizations like the ADL have proven their utter inability to deal honestly and courageously with this pervasive, uniquely Muslim phenomenon -- rooted in Islam -- which poses an existential threat to Jews, and Judaism.